• Sep 18th 2008 at 4:29PM
  • 20
What other automaker would spend the time and expense of developing a new airbag just because, you know, airbags could be better? The same one who developed a new rail car for the same reason. The Japanese automaker has developed a new airbag it claims will give drivers better protection in accidents. The shaped bag uses a spiral seam to induce more even inflation, which provides a larger surface area and creates uniform pressure around the bag more quickly than in a conventional airbag system. Thus, the driver is cushioned sooner. The i-SRS system also uses a gas release valve that helps control airbag deployment and pressure, and holds the gas inside the bag until a preset time. The technology is already slated to appear on the Honda Life in Japan this November.

Outside the vehicle, Honda will be adding a new multi-view camera to the upcoming JDM Odyssey, much like Nissan's Around View Monitor. Four wide-angle CCD cameras will be placed in the front, back, and on the side mirrors. Each view can be seen individually or combined for a computer generated aerial shot of the car's movements. Because they're wide angle, Honda has also incorporated a view with the front camera that extends the driver's line of sight in low-visibility intersections, such as when exiting a parking garage (see right pic). It sounds similar to the front-mounted camera system on the Rolls-Royce Phantom. Unfortunately there's no word on when either technology will come to the U.S. Thanks for the tip, phaedra!

[Source: Honda]


Honda Develops World's First Driver-side i-SRS Airbag System with Continuously Staged Inflation

TOKYO, Japan, September 18, 2008 - Honda Motor Co., Ltd. today announced that it has developed the world's first driver-side i-SRS airbag system that continuously stages the volume of airbag-inflating gas, thereby combining enhanced occupant protection with reduced occupant impact. Honda plans to implement the new continuously staged inflation i-SRS airbag system on the driver's side of the Life minicar to be released in Japan in November 2008.

A Honda innovation, the new i-SRS airbag system features a spiral-shaped seam structure and gas release control valve to control airbag deployment and pressure for faster deployment, reduced occupant impact and a longer period of inflation and occupant protection. As a result, the new system accommodates a broad range of occupant positions and potential collision situations.

Honda first began fundamental airbag research in 1971, and in 1987 became the first to introduce a driver-side SRS airbag system in an automobile manufactured in Japan. In 1990, Honda was the first automaker to introduce a passenger-side SRS airbag system in a vehicle manufactured in Japan. In 1998, Honda introduced the world's first inflator with a two-stage deployment system, as well as an i-side airbag system with an occupant position detection sensor. Continuing its tradition of innovation, Honda continues to be a world leader in researching, developing and introducing new automobile safety technologies.

Honda Develops New Multi-View Camera System to Provide View of Surrounding Areas to Support Comfortable and Safe Driving

TOKYO, Japan, September 18, 2008 - Honda Motor Co., Ltd. today announced that it has developed a multi-view camera system which displays views from multiple wide-angle CCD cameras on the vehicle's navigation screen to reduce blind spots, support smooth parallel or garage parking, and support comfortable and safe driving in a 3-way intersection where there is limited visibility or on narrow roads. This new multi-view camera system will be applied first to the all-new Odyssey which is scheduled to go on sale in Japan in October of this year.

The multi-view camera system includes four wide-angle CCD cameras located in the front and rear of the vehicle and on the right and left door mirrors. The new system synthesizes images from these cameras and displays the synthesized image on the navigation screen with additional information including a projection line, which shows the vehicle's projected trajectory calculated based on steering angle information, and a reference line, which provides a reference for the distance between the vehicle and approaching obstacles. This provides support to the driver in parking, enhancing visibility, and avoiding contact in narrow driving conditions.

Based on its unique approach to safety, Honda has been researching and developing various visibility enhancing technologies from the standpoint of active safety. In 2001, Honda introduced a rear view camera system which enhances rear visibility while backing up; in 2003, Honda developed the Adaptive Front Lighting System (AFS) which improves nighttime visibility during turning; and in 2004, Honda developed the Intelligent Night Vision System which detects pedestrians that are in or approaching the vehicle's path and provides the driver warnings during nighttime driving. These technologies are already being installed to Honda vehicles which are currently on sale.

Configuration of the Multi-View Camera System
1. Front camera
2. Side cameras (driver side door mirror / front passenger side door mirror*)
3. Rear camera
4. Camera ECU
* with near-infrared LED light on the passenger side.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      It sounds sensible to me. It's not just that the airbags deploy quicker, they have a wider surface area and don't shoot out as far as before and punch you in the face. You can clearly see the difference in the photos. Plus I doubt Honda would be developing a new generation of airbags if they weren't better than the old ones.
      • 7 Years Ago
      "gas release control valve" with variable valve lift and timing control? :-)))
      • 7 Years Ago
      Spiral seam airbags? Who wants to bet that some JiffyPop in the R&D kitchen was the inspiration for this new design?
      • 7 Years Ago
      Did they STEAL this idea from GM?
      • 7 Years Ago
      Congrats to Honda. They should be able to develope a lot of new inovations.

      You pay inflated prices for them. They make TONS & TONS of money. They have to spend it somehow.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Jeez, maybe you should learn to write MiKeeeeeee.

        I'm gonna develope a lot of new inovations too some day... out of my pork barrel executive salary.

        You pay inflated prices for your POS Malibua too. Oh, I'm sorry did I misspell Malibu?
      • 7 Years Ago
      Cuz you can lose your vision? Nissan have 2 incidents where if you see the 2nd air bag to the right it basically punched the passenger. They sue and well they lost cause it was only two incident. Yeah Nissan is my favorite company just fyi. Where the hell is my sport concept?!

      Maybe for morons that go faster than 200 mph? I dunno.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Take the air bags out of my car and I will be happy. Nothing is more fun that getting into a small wreck and having your car totalled because 8 airbags popped out all over the car. Oh hey, how about the real fun ones that pop out while driving, those are awesome. Maybe someday cars will be required to have, oh I don't know, responsible drivers? That would negate the need for a lot of this lawyer crap we have nowdays.
        • 7 Years Ago
        as much as I wished people would be better at driving, that really isnt gonna happen.

        i guess all the commenters after you will be telling you i told you so, when your mom / sister/ brother / you gets t-boned by an SUV in a car with no airbags.

        then maybe they can fix that car after they wipe the dead remains off the inside of it.
        • 7 Years Ago
        If I don't die in a car then somewhere along the line I was really lucky. Racing is dangerous and I fully understand that, and so does my wife. For my family members, sure, they can have airbags. For me, give me roll up windows and no airbags.
      • 7 Years Ago
      and this is exactly why i like Honda
      • 7 Years Ago
      This is why the sell tons of cars and don't need any government loans.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Airbags are already several times faster than they need to be, what is the advantage to them being any quicker?
        • 7 Years Ago
        You're assuming everyone drives like a crash test dummy. Some people sit too far from the wheel; others too close. Some people drive with one hand crossing the path of the long-cone airbag. Deploying the airbag where it's needed and only where it's needed can only result in benefits to those unlucky to be rammed by some heart attack victim in a motorized wheelbarrow.
        • 7 Years Ago
        You need to watch a slow motion video of airbags inflating. They only have that long conical shape during the early stages of inflation, they flatten out to the donut shape well before the person's body starts sliding forward in the harness to meet the airbag.

        And time remaining inflated is not also an issue. They stay inflated long enough for the person to contact the airbag, and then it deflates due to the driver's movement into it.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Oh, yeah, one arm crossing the path of the airbag, where you can know exactly what time it was when the accident happened... You can read it backwards on the forehead of the driver. (given he is wearing an analoge watch)
        • 7 Years Ago
        You haven't taken direction of motion into account.

        The picture shows the normal airbag moving along the steering wheel axis to punch the driver in the face.

        The spiral seam makes the airbag inflate laterally, perpendicular and 360 degrees to the steering axis.

        Inflating from the axis to the peripheral edge very quickly is a good thing... and probably better hitting your legs at the bottom than a full frontal impact to your face by the airbag inflation, in addition to the inertia involved in the accident itself.

        The seat belt will help decelerate your forward momentum before you impact the inflated bag that is already more fully inflated closer to the steering wheel, but not accelerating toward you like the current airbags do.

        As long as it isn't punching you in the face, it is probably better that it inflates quickly in all lateral vectors, stays fully inflated a tad bit longer, and then deflates a bit slower.
      • 7 Years Ago

      I remember the Detroit-3 fought mandatory air bags for years, and just about every other requirement. Perhaps Honda's positive, helpful attitude is responsible in good measure for its success.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I totaled an 02 Honda civic and got punched in the face by the air bag. The bag tore open on impact and cut up my face. I was only going 20 MPH and had my seatbelt on.

      I'm much prefer this new design,
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